Register for ATechX 2017
Assistive Technology user
Shobhika Kalra, 27 years old girl based in Dubai. I have been assisted by a wheelchair due to a degenerative disorder that was detected with at the tender age of 13. Things are different and difficult more so because I was to walk on paths discovered by others already like after school goes to college and after that get a job. Though I have done all this, My body did not allow me to do it exactly. I had to decide on the way things should be for me. However, this hasn’t stopped me from pursuing my ambitions in life. I’m currently working with Eduscan as a Product Development executive, run a beauty blog and lead a social initiative called Wings OfAngelz. Wings of Angelz is an initiative that aims to make the world more wheelchair accessible and is registered with the CDA as a nonprofit social club. We’ve successfully managed to convince over 700 places to become wheelchair accessible including key organizations like RTA, Emirates NBD, Bab Al Shams etc. This initiative is in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed ‘ s vision of making Dubai disabled friendly by 2020. Wings Of Angelz was recently featured in a book called ‘Actions and Insights – Middle East &Africa’, which was launched by Sheikha Lubna, Minister of Tolerance. I personally believe that the single biggest reason due to which places are not accessible is the lack of awareness. I would like to talk about the Assistive Tech X about how my electronic wheelchair has helped me build my confidence by going anywhere I want to go out without any assistance.
Mr. Majid AlUsaimi
President of the Asian Paralympic Committee
Executive Director of Dubai Club for People of Determination.
Assistronix and MIT Sloan Fellow
Aejaz Zahid is a specialist in the areas of Assistive Technology, Rehabilitation Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction. For over seventeen years he has worked across the globe, successfully supporting hundreds of individuals with wide-ranging disabilities, developing award-winning technologies and advising policymakers at the highest levels of government.He led Assistive Technology services in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and was the Director of Research and Innovation at Mada (Qatar’s National Assistive Technology Center), the first comprehensive Assistive Technology center of its kind in the Middle East. In these roles, he has managed multidisciplinary teams of engineers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and special needs Educators and brought almost two dozen assistive and educational technology products to market.As a Sloan Fellow in Innovation & Global Leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Aejaz completed an advanced degree in innovation management in 2016. He also holds degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction and is a chartered clinical scientist.
Dr. Therese Willkomm
Director of ATinNH and Clinical Associate Professor
University of New Hampshire
Dr. Therese Willkomm, PhD, is the Director of New Hampshire’s State Assistive Technology Program with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Willkomm is known nationally and internationally for her innovative stratagies for creating solutions in minutes . She has designed and fabricated over two thousand solutions for individuals with disabilities including her patented A.T. Pad Stand, a multiuse assistive technology mounting device. She is also known throughout the county for her trainings on awesome iPAD apps and adaptations. She has presented her work in 42 states, seven foreign countries and three U.S. Territories; has written 22 assistive technology related publications including her new book titled: “Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes – Book 2 – Ordinary Items, Extraordinary Solutions ; and has appeared on RFD TV, CNN and most recently NPR Science Friday.
Founder and Professor
Dr. Carole Zangari is a faculty member in the department of Speech Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University where she teaches graduate courses in AAC, coordinates the AAC Lab, provides clinical supervision to graduate student clinicians, and serves as a doctoral dissertation advisor. She is a frequent presenter on AAC topics at international and national conferences. Dr. Zangari is the co-author of Practically Speaking Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom. She blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org.
Ms. Gayl Bowser
Assistive Technology Collaborations
Ms. Jane Korsten
Assistive Technology Specialist
Every Move Counts
Jane has an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Kansas, a M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Illinois and has taken additional post graduate courses at University of Kansas, University of Missouri at Kansas City, University of Nebraska, Hamline University, Ottawa University and Research Institute for Assistive and Training technologies (RIATT), University of New Mexico.
She has worked as a speech pathologist and AT resource with individuals from “birth to earth” having significant sensory motor differences and autism. She has worked in public schools, supported living settings for adults and private practice developing alternate communication systems for individuals who are non-verbal. She was the principal investigator on an Innovative Research Grant funded through the National Institutes of Health. This three year research project led to the development of Every Move Counts: a sensory based approach to communication.
In addition to Every Move Counts and Every Move Counts, Clicks and Chats, Jane is a co-author on How Do You Know It? How Can You Show It? Making Assistive Technology Decisions (2002 – Reed, Bowser and Korsten). She is a founding member of QIAT (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology), a member of QILT (Quality Indicators Leadership Team) and a board member of the NATE Network (National Assistive Technology in Education). Since 1989, Jane has provided professional development on a variety of topics in 30 states.
Dr. Faddy S.Alnajjar
College of IT
Dr. Mohammad Eid
NYU Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Mohamad Eid received the PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, in 2010. He is currently an assistant professor of electrical engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). He was previously a teaching and research associate at the University of Ottawa from June 2008 until April 2012. He is the co-author of the book: “Haptics Technologies: Bringing Touch to Multimedia”, Springers 2011, the cochair of the 3rd International IEEE Workshop on Multimedia Services and Technologies for E-health (MUST-EH 2013), technical chair for the Haptic-Audio-Visual Environment and Gaming (HAVE) workshop in 2013. He is the recipient of the best paper award of DS-RT 2008 conference and the prestigious ACM Multimedia 2009 Grand Challenge Most Entertaining Award for “HugMe: Synchronous Haptic Teleconferencing” System. He has more than 75 conference and journal publications and 4 patents. His academic interests include multimedia haptics, affective haptics, and tangible human computer interaction for assistive living.
Helena Hemmingsson is PhD and full professor in Occupational Therapy at the Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. Her research and professorship has a focus on disability in everyday life. Major research line is school participation of students with disabilities and the transition from school to work for young people with disabilities. In addition, several current projects focus on how technology and internet influences everyday life of young people with disabilities with an emphasis on enabling technology and digital equality.
With respect to the International Classification of Function, Disability and Helath (ICF) she has been a member of an international group supported by WHO that investigated occupational therapists experiences and opinions of using ICF in their work. She has used ICF in her research and authored several scientific publications.
Ms. Joy Zabala
Director of Technical Assistance
Mr. David Banes
Director and Consultant
David Banes Access and Inclusion Services
David Banes is Director of his company David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and was formerly CEO, at Mada the Qatar Assistive Technology and Accessibility where he worked for six years. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for developing services to ensure that people with a disability are digitally included, and in shaping the broad policy framework required to ensure and sustain this. As a Consultant addressing all aspects of access and inclusion through disability, he is currently working a range of issues the Middle East and Europe and has a special interest in how access will be ensured as technology and our understanding of disability shifts.
Much of his work is designed to build capacity in emerging access ecosystems, supporting an end to end approach from awareness to policy, and from production of assistive technologies to approaches to training and development. He now seeks to support the emerging Access ecosystem in the region promoting cooperation between states and supports the development of assistive technology solutions and digital content that meet the needs of Arabic speaking people with a disability.
His recent work has focused on the development of a framework for responding to disruptive innovation in the AT Industry, identify solutions meeting the needs of refugees with a disability, consulting on the creation of a business case for public investment in assistive technology and supporting innovation and research to bring products and services to market.
Mr. Ian Bean
ICT & Assistive Technology Consultant and Trainer
SENICT Training and Consultancy
Ian was the ICT teacher and curriculum coordinator at Priory Woods School in Middlesbrough which is internationally recognized as a model for best practice in the use of ICT to support teaching and learning for students with severe and complex difficulties including Autism. Ian left Priory Woods to lead the Information Team at Inclusive Technology in the UK where he was responsible for delivering training and consultancy to hundreds of schools around the world. Ian now runs a successful international consultancy providing high quality training and support to schools and other organizations involved in the education of children and adults with special educational needs.